Jonathon AF2E2350-E050-4FFA-B428-A335AA68A025.jpeg so this strip is starting at 12.6 pounds going to try for 28 days this will be in a fridge not opened I’m going to get another strip tomorrow and bag it the same way and hold it for 28 days in a fridge that’s open and closed all day long.
Dry Aging How to Dry Age Beef & Steak Slicing Sub-primal Trimming All the Prep Work for Dry Aging
If you’re planning on dry aging at home, the first thing you need to do is to find out if the meat has already been aged to make sure you do not over age it. Then you need to decide how long you are going to age it. 21-28 days is a good range for the first time you experiment with this, and you can go from there. You need to keep the beef at a consistently low temperature, so your fridge is probably your best bet. The issue you will have is it is going to take on the flavor of whatever else is in your fridge. Also, the ideal Humidity is 75-80%, and not many refrigerators are going to give you an option for that as they actually work to remove moisture. You also need to keep air moving in there; a possible fix for this would be to point a computer fan into a corner of the fridge to keep air circulating. I’d put my meat on a jerky rack with coarse salt underneath to absorb any off-odors or flavors and try to keep the fridge closed as much as possible to prevent temperature fluctuations.How Long to Age the Beef/Steak?
How long you want to age the meat depends on a few things. How much meat you are willing to lose to dehydration and surface mold is generally the biggest one. As the meat sits in the open air, a few things are happening, some that can be seen and some that cannot be seen. The biggest and most obvious is the effect of dehydration of the meat. The 75-80% humidity is designed to control this and prevent what we would call case hardening in sausage. This is where the outside of the meat either dries or cooks too quickly, and it can no longer effectively pass heat into the meat or (and this is the more important factor for what we are talking about today) pass moisture out of the meat. If we put it in a box with no humidity control at all, the outermost sections of the meat would dehydrate too quickly, and we wouldn’t get the full benefits of dry aging.Our Method & Experiencing Loss
We had some subprimal sitting in our dry aging chamber here, and the plan was to pull the first batch at 21 days, the second at 42, and then leave the last one in there as long as we could. Well, we got the first batch at almost exactly 21 days, and when we did that, we went from 13.7 and 13.4 lb of meat to 11.45 and 12.65, which was a 17% and 6% loss on them, as you can see there can be a wide range of expected product loss here. Now, as we have said before, in the first 21 days, the tenderness of the meat has improved as much as it is going to; tests have been done by major universities’ meat labs that have proven aging beyond 21 days does not have any noticeable effect on the tenderness of the meat. What happens after 21 days is all about the flavor profile.
So we also pulled a batch at closer to 60 days than 42, and this is where we saw some pretty significant jumps in product loss. We went from 12.15 and 15.75 to 9 and 11.05 lb, which was a loss of 26% and 30%. The trimming here was also significantly more difficult than it was in the first batch, so when we factor in the amount we had to trim off, we are looking at losses of 55%. So, is the taste change from 21-50 something days worth the extra 40% loss in product weight?Shop waltons.com for Victorinox Straight Boning Knife Shop waltons.com for our Newest Sales!
Dry Aging Dry Aging - The Basics Trimming Glorious Beef Footage Why Dry Age?
So, what happens when you dry-age meat? Well, first, during the initial 21-day process of dry aging, the collagen and connective tissue are broken down within the meat by enzymes that are naturally present in beef. The results of this process are similar to what happens when we cook a tough brisket or a pork butt all the way up to 190°; in that process, the collagen and connective tissues are broken down by heat. In this process, the enzymes are eating and breaking them down, so similar results but with totally different processes. Most of the tenderness is set in by 21 days; beyond that, flavor profiles might change, but you will not have increased tenderness.Why Don’t People Dry Age That Often?
One of the reasons that very few people dry age their beef is because, as you dry age, you are going to lose as much as 25% of your product, obviously it could be higher; in fact, you could lose 100% of it if things go really wrong. For someone doing this at home once in a while, that might not be a large concern, but for a commercial processor, this is going to increase costs per lb significantly. Another reason is that you cannot take a 2-inch thick steak and dry age it; you need a large subprimal cut like a strip loin or ribeye, which is going to be fairly expensive. As the drying continues, the outside is going to “spoil” as most of the moisture is drawn out from the meat and evaporates off; this process intensifies the flavor of the meat but does account for a decent amount of the product loss. The trimming is why larger subprimal cuts are necessary for dry aging.Dry Aging Sausage Is More Difficult
In this process, we are going to rely on a pH drop and then the good bacteria to outcompete the bad bacteria to prevent anything harmful from growing on the meat. This is why it really is critical to have a place where you can reliably control both the temperature and the humidity. I know that some people have done it forever in their basement during a certain month of the year or other, but this isn’t a process we recommend. A drying cabinet of some sort that is easily sterilized before and after use is important.
You will have to have a way to reliably measure the pH of your sausage to be able to make sure this process has been successful as well. Different starter cultures have different requirements, but an example of one would be for Spanish Chorizo, where we are using Bactoferms T-SPX. We are going to ferment it at 75°F with 90% relative humidity for 36-48 hours or as soon as we see the pH falling below 5.2. After that, we are going to dry it until the Water Activity is below .85, which can take weeks.Shop waltons.com for Victorinox Straight Boning Knife Shop waltons.com for our Newest Sales!